Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Fossilized tick found in amber indicates Lyme disease is older than human race

Tick larvae encased in a 15- to 20-million-year-old piece of amber contains oldest known ancestor of Borrelia burgdorferi.

Mar 09, 2015

Veterinary professionals are no strangers to the stealthy spirochete Borrelia burgdorferi—but the discovery of spirochete-like cells in a 15-million-year-old amber-encased tick reveals that the bacteria have been lurking around long before humans walked the Earth.

The discovery was made by George Poinar Jr., a paleoentomologist, parasitologist and one of the world's leading experts on plant and animal life forms found preserved in amber. In fact, you may remember the amber-encased mosquito in the plot of the wildly popular Michael Crichton novel and movie Jurassic Park. Poinar's early research is said to have inspired the story.

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